Bledsoe

Chapman’s Ashlynn Bledsoe, center, works through the Shawnee Mission Bishop Miege defenders Ashton Verhulst (42) and Emajin McCallop (24) during first half action Wednesday night at the Class 4A State Tournament. Miege went on to win 60-45 and will play again on Friday.

SALINA – The defending Class 4A State Champion Shawnee Mission Bishop Miege Lady Stangs pulled away from the Chapman Lady Irish late in the second half to win the quarterfinal matchup 60-45 Wednesday night in the late game in Salina at the 4A State Basketball Tournament.

Chapman hoped to be the second North Central Kansas League team to pull an upset as seventh seed Clay Center upset number two Eudora 47-42 behind a 25-point performance from Clara Edwards.

The Irish got on the board first with a field goal by senior Ashlynn Bledsoe. Miege all-state senior post Ashton Verhultst hit a trey from the top of the key and then banked in a jumper to put the Stangs up 5-2 with barely two minutes off the clock.

Bledsoe answered for the Irish with a driving layup for a 5-4 Miege lead. Senior Peyton Suther scored and Bledsoe gave the Irish an 8-7 lead with another lay in on the baseline.

Chapman senior McKenna Kirkpatrick had back to back baskets for the Irish that pushed their lead to 12-9 with just over a minute to play in period number one. Senior Kylie Adams drained a pair of free throws with 59 seconds on the clock to give Chapman a 14-11 lead. Miege sophomore guard Emajin McCallop tied the game at 14-14 with a nothing but net trey just before the buzzer.

“Going into this game we knew had to kind of slow things down a little bit, be patient,” Chapman head coach Drew Gruver said. “That’s what we were trying to do. That would give us a chance late in the fourth quarter and we were down eight with four minutes to go. We had to extend our defense a little bit late and try to make something happen and we just came up a little short. That’s obviously a heck of a team over there.”

The Lady Stangs took the lead early in the second quarter on buckets by McCallop to go up by five at 19-14. Adams hit two free throws for the Irish midway through the quarter for Chapman’s first points in the second period. Bledsoe scored at the 3:09 mark followed by free throw from freshman Maya Kirkpatrick that brought the Irish within one at 20-21 with a minute and half to go in the half.

Miege answered with an Ashton Verhulst bucket and a ringing three by McCallop at the horn.

Bishop Miege took a six-point lead 26-20 to the locker room.

In the second half, the Stangs got six third quarter points from junior Peyton Verhulst and then her sister Ashton rattled in a pair of free throws.

Adams had two from the line but Miege had extended the lead to 10 at 32-22. The Stangs stretched its lead to 13 points with two and half minutes to play in the third.

McKenna Kirkpatrick made three of four from the line and Adams had a reverse lay in followed by a three from Bledsoe and the Lady Irish had pulled within seven at 31-38 before a buzzer beating three by Miege’s Gabriella Henderson-Artis to give Miege a 40-31 lead headed to the fourth.

McKenna Kirkpatrick went to work in the fourth with a three, a regular field goal and four of four from the free throw line that pulled Chapman within eight at 40-48. That would be as close as they would get as Miege reinserted the Verhulst sisters in the lineup after sitting for several minutes because of foul trouble. While Ashton and Peyton were seated McCallop stepped up for the Stangs to stretch the lead back to 10.

“Our girls have a lot to be proud of,” Gruver said. “With 18 wins after only winning seven last year, that is a huge improvement. I told the girls in the locker room that I was proud of them. We talked about playing hard, playing smart and playing together and having fun and if we do those things, the community is going to be proud and the school will be proud. I think for the most part all year long we did that especially tonight. Those girls were coachable all the way through and I just thank them for all that they gave us this year.”

Ashton Verhulst who finished with a game high 20 for Miege then hit three baskets in a row to give Miege a 57-43 lead with just over a minute to play.

Miege went to the free throw line to close out the game to make three of five for the 60-45 win over the Irish.

The loss for the Irish ended the high school playing careers of Adams, Bledsoe, Suther, Lauren Hill and McKenna Kirkpatrick.

“Everybody had a heck of a game tonight,” Gruver said. “Kylie Adams stepped up an got some big shots and Ashlynn, McKenna and Peyton worked really hard as did everybody else. The girls bought into our game plan and we executed about as well as we could have. We just couldn’t make enough plays at the end to pull out the win.”

The Irish finished the season with 18 wins and five losses under coach Gruver in his first year in Chapman.

Bishop Miege (21-2) moves on to play number one seed Nickerson (21-2) on Friday.

Contact Ron Preston at sports@abilene-rc.com.

Scoring Summary:

Bishop Miege 60, Chapman 45

Chapman 14 6 11 14 – 45

Miege 14 12 14 20 – 60

Chapman (18-5) – Mc Kirkpatrick 17, Adams 10, Suther 3, Bledsoe 13, Ma Kirkpatrick 2. Totals: 14 (2) 15-22.

Bishop Miege (21-2) – Henderson-Aetis 11, Burns 4, P. Verhults 8, McCallop 20, A. Verhulst 14, Smith 3. Totals: 23 (5) 9-15 60.

Contact Ron Preston at sports@abilene-rc.com.

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